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SEC Bans BGL, Suspends Okumagba From Capital Market

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BEVERLY HILLS, May 21, (THEWILL) – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has suspended BGL Asset Management Ltd, BGL Capital Ltd and BGL Securities Ltd from all capital market activities.

This is contained in a statement made available in Lagos on Wednesday by the Commission.

SEC directed that Mr. Albert Okumagba, the Group Managing Director, BGL Group, should cease to be a registered sponsored individual with the commission.

This directive, according to the statement follows the withdrawal of the registration of BGL Plc as a capital market operator.

The statement disclosed that all suspicious transactions observed in the course of the investigation had been referred to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for further investigation.

It stated that BGL Asset Management, BGL Capital and BGL Securities and all individuals involved in the management of the said companies had been referred to the SEC Administrative Proceedings Committee (APC).

The statement said that the suspension was a fall out of the commission's Executive Management Committee meeting held on May 19.

It said that the committee considered the report of a detailed investigation into the various complaints received from investors against subsidiaries of BGL Group.

According to the statement, the committee directs BGL Asset Management Ltd, BGL Capital Ltd and BGL Securities Ltd to be suspended from all capital market activities.

“All sponsored individuals of BGL Asset Management, BGL Capital and BGL Securities whose particulars are contained in the commission's record as at December 2014 be suspended from performing any capital market activity.”

Okumagba prior to the investigation was the President, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) but was asked to step aside by the institute because of investors' confidence.

NAN reports that Mr. Mounir Gwarzo, SEC Director-General, in April said that the commission was investigating the operations of BGL Plc, a financial services company.

Gwarzo said that the commission had set up an interim management team to investigate the company's operations.

“What we did for BGL was basically extending our investigation process. We undertook target inspection of BGL, when we finished the investigation, we came up with our own report and we wrote them a letter and we said we wanted them to clarify.”

“They responded by asking us for additional time to respond and we granted them that additional time and they responded.”

“We reviewed their response and we felt there is a need for us to go in and confirm or clarify certain things. That is the situation we are in now,” Gwarzo said.

He said that the findings of the interim management team would determine its next line of action.

“We set up an interim management team that has already moved in and is doing its job and I don't want to pre-empt what they will come up with. But the moment they finish the report, SEC will look at it and take the next line of action,” Gwarzo said.

The interim management team set up for BGL by SEC was headed by Mr. Oladipo Aina, with Mr. Abubakar Ambursa, Mrs. Hafsat Rufai, Ms. Temitayo Siyanbola and Ms. Tonne Ladipo-Ajayi as members.